Edit, the speech has just been cleared for us to share it with you so here it is.
Equally important the lead official in BIS tasked with carrying out the ministers requests, Jonathan Yewdall, is also passionate about traditional crafts and was with us all day. He not only joined int he conversations to get a real hands on view of the issues under discussion but also took questions after the ministers speech.
"It was just astounding that so many people came and gave their time, felt so passionately, and contributed so much to the day. I went away feeling that your organisation is full of life and positivity."
"It was a great day and really informative"
"A fascinating series of discussions and a really interesting day!"
At the end of the day we were treated to a tasting of the Balvenie single malt scotch whisky with a very entertaing presentation about the skills and crafts which go into it's production. We started on 12 yr olds and worked our way up the table to my personal favourite a 21 year old sherry cask. It was a lovely informal way to end the day and we were deeply grateful to the Balvenie for sponsoring the whole event.
Another report on the Craft and Design blog here
Thanks to Joel Virgo our volunteer photographer on the day for images, Jan Lasnon of craft and design magazine for two of her images, Beth Tilston for filming (youtube to follow) Patricia and Sally for superb event organisation and the Balvenie for making it all possible.